An Experiment in Tidying: Fast Cleaning

When it comes to tidying, the one thing I’ve deduced is this: Everything needs a home.

When I look at my surroundings, I see a lot of homeless.

Being an untidy-by-nature human, I am easily overwhelmed and don’t know where to start. A friend told me about this other tidying blog she came across where their philosophy is this: If you have a second bedroom, throw everything you own into it, close the door, and after a year, donate everything you haven’t retrieved.

I’m going to do a modified version and see what happens.

Photo: Chastity Cortijo

Photo: Chastity Cortijo

I want a clean bedroom!

I’m grabbing these things:

  • Trash bag

  • Recycle bag

  • Boxes and bins for my “homeless” items

Now, I’m just starting in one corner, my nightstand, and working my way around the room.

I’m pulling everything off that doesn’t belong (like, empty cans or water glasses), and everything that doesn’t have an obvious home (my clean laundry that’s been sitting in the laundry basket, clothes I haven’t put away, books, etc).

Basically, anything that’s out of place right now is going into the “homeless” bins and boxes.

30 Minutes to a Clean Bedroom

I need to get better at taking before and after photos, but I’m still rather embarrassed by how untidy I am - so I think I “forget” to take those before photos on purpose.

But, I can say that my bedroom is now clean after just 30 minutes (maybe less).

Let Yourself Simmer in a Tidy Room

I recently spent a week at a hotel for a work conference. It was a pretty fantastic room: floor-to-ceiling windows, king size bed, couch, glass-doored closets and bathroom. My first reaction walking into the room was, Oh my god, it’s so clean!!!

It was bright and airy and spacious. Everything I wished my home felt like.

Living in this room for a week, I still struggled to keep the room as clean and airy as when I walked in. I had just a carry-on bag, and even with that amount of clothing and toiletries, I still had to work to keep my things put away.

The change in my environment made me realize how much I want more of this at home though. Living for a week in such a tidy room started to make me feel more acclimated to it. I think there’s something to drastically changing our environment. Which is why I’m trying this method at home.

Pros to this method (so far)

  • It’s FAST!!!

  • Immediate gratification.

  • I feel uplifted and accomplished.

I think for people who are untidy by nature, it’s difficult to see past all of our stuff. It’s normal for us to live amongst a lot of things. Getting used to a tidier environment is unnatural.

Trying something drastic like this will help us acclimate to rooms that have less things in them. The idea being that, once you get used to such a tidy space, you may be more discerning about what you decide to bring back in.

Enjoy it!

Yes, I need to deal with all the stuff I took out, but that’s phase 2. Right now I’m relishing my space, and feeling quite proud it happened in less than an hour. Seems almost criminal!

I’ll keep you posted on this experiment!